BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (May 4) – Freshman Marla Souvannasing led the way once again as Central Oklahoma overcame some anxious moments in punching its ticket to the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships with a third-place finish in the Central Regional here Tuesday.
The Bronchos had won the previous two Central Regional titles, but entered the final round seven shots behind leader Augustana and never caught the Vikings. Arkansas Tech took over second place on the back nine and the battle for the final qualifying spot between UCO and Northeastern State was close for several holes before the RiverHawks faded down the stretch.
Augie closed with a 316 to finish at 945 in the three-day, 54-hole tournament at the tough 5,838-yard, par-72 Hillcrest Country Club, which was buffeted by strong winds for the third straight day. The Golden Sun had the lowest score (312) for the second straight day in coming in at 953 and UCO ended at 957 after a final-round 320, tied for its worst score of the year.
NSU was fourth in the nine-team field at 965 and Concordia-St. Paul fifth at 972. The top three teams and first three individuals not on one of those teams advanced to the Championship Finals in Allendale, Mich. May 13-16.
Souvannasing overcame a 10th-hole triple bogey to come in with a 78 in finishing as the individual runner-up, two shots behind Augie’s Sierra Langlie. Daniela Martinez added an 80 for UCO, while Katie Bensch and Lindsey Bensch both shot 81 and Bethany Darrough 83.
"We were very fortunate to hang on and we’re glad to be moving on," head coach Michael Bond said. "I was proud of the way the girls battled because they could have packed it up and didn’t. It was a tough three days, but we’re excited about making it back to nationals and look forward to that."
The Bronchos will be making their fourth straight national tournament appearance, having finished eighth, 10th and sixth the previous three years.
Souvannasing was one of just three players to break 80 every round of the tournament and ended with a 229 total for her 10th top-five finish in 12 tournaments.
The rookie standout had six pars and one bogey in the first seven holes before bogeying the par-4 eighth hole and immediately made up for that with a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn at one-over 37.
Tree trouble led to a triple bogey on the par-5 10th hole, but Souvannasing rebounded with four straight pars en route to a back-nine 41 for the 78 that earned her a runner-up finish.
Martinez used a ninth-hole birdie to make the turn in 39 and followed with a 41, making five bogeys and four pars.
Katie Bensch played the last four holes on the front nine 2-under-par with birdies on the par-5 seventh and ninth holes to go out in 38, but ran into difficulty on the back nine for the second straight day and closed with a 43.
Lindsey Bensch got off to a solid start with a front-nine 39 and then was 6-over after six holes on the back nine before finishing with three consecutive pars to salvage a 42.
Northeastern State shot 38-over 326 in Tuesday’s final round to finish in fourth place. NSU finished at 101-over-par 965 (318-321-326). Sophomore Baylee Price led the RiverHawks and finished tied for fifth at 18-over 234 (75-79-80). She was one of the top-three individuals not with a qualifying team, and therefore earned a berth in the national championship for the second-straight year.
Junior Kayla Schroeder (78-82-77) finished 10th at 21-over 237. This was the second tournament in a row that Schroeder finished in the top-10. Junior Charter Lawson (83-77-87) finished tied for 27th at 31-over 247. Freshman Alexis Armon finished T-33 at 37-over 253 (88-83-82), while senior Arizona Chin finished in a tie for 41st at 43-over 259 (82-83-94).
Augustana, Arkansas Tech and Central Oklahoma will advance to the final site along with Rachel Gray (Concordia St. Paul), Baylee Price (Northeastern State) and Tavia Rutherford (Sioux Falls). The 2015 Division II Women’s Golf Championships will be contested May 13-16 at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Michigan.
2015 NCAA CENTRAL SUPER REGIONAL – Final Results
May 6, 2015 at Bartlesville, Okla.
(par-72, 5,838-yard Hillcrest Country Club)
1. Augustana 316-314-316=946 (+28)
2. Arkansas Tech 332-309-312=953 (+89)
3. Central Oklahoma 319-318-320=957 (+93)
4. Northeastern State 318-321-326=965 (+101)
5. Concordia St. Paul 325-327-320=972 (+108)
6. Lindenwood 328-336-327=991 (+127)
7. Minnesota State 336-328-333=997 (+133)
8. SW Oklahoma State 333-335-330=998 (+134)
9. Henderson State 329-337-341=1007 (+143)
1. Sierra Langlie (Augustana) 76-75-76=227 (+11)
2. Marla Souvannasing (Central Oklahoma) 76-75-78=228 (+13)
3. Rachel Gray (Concordia St. Paul) 77-76-78=231 (+15)
4. Rebecka Surtevall (Arkansas Tech) 79-74-80=233 (+17)
T5. Baylee Price (Northeastern State) 75-79-80=234 (+18)
T5. Tavia Rutherford (Sioux Falls)* 74-79-81=234 (+18)
*Playing as an individual